#410 Edible dishes

Let’s get tasty.

Save yourself some work, save yourself some time, and let’s gobble up the dishes our food’s packed up in:

• Ice cream cones. Bubble gum ice cream from Baskin Robbins was a staple of my childhood and I’d always get it in a cup to save the chalky pink frozen gum for the end. One day I switched up my game and went wild with a sugar cone instead… and after that there was no looking back. That cone is like three meals in one: ice-cream only appetizer, cream-n-crunch entrée, and a final mini-goblet of bubbly melted dessert. Check please!

• Chili bread bowls. Once in a while a local diner will try plain soup in bread bowls but the wet mess that results from a hot ladle of chicken noodle poured into a stale bun is beyond awful. No, let’s hold hands here today and stick with chili and chowder.

• Frankensteins. Sometimes you go mad scientist and whip up an edible monster. Lightning crashes out the window of your dark kitchen as you cackle and unveil scrambled eggs and bacon wrapped in a pancake or a cold leftover hamburger squirted with ketchup and wrapped in a giant lettuce leaf. Not bad, not bad.

• Edible beer bottles. Okay, maybe these haven’t been invented yet but I think it’s only a matter of time. Sip, sip, crunch, crunch, stay on the couch. Think about it, Doritos.

• That creamy spinach dip in the big brown bread. This is a staple of any snooty party and you’ll score massive yuppie points for bringing it with some stinky cheese or dark salamis. And don’t worry about the nutritional content here because those thin ribbons of spinach stirred into that mayo soup totally take away the guilt, too.

• Almosts. These are foods you don’t always eat from a dish but also don’t really require any dishes. They’re hot-dogs and hamburgers and wraps and burritos. They’re not quite the same as edible dishes … but almost.

• Taco salad in that crazy giant taco bowl. Whoever invented this magically delicious dish deserves some props for making a fat exploded taco sound healthy. Come on, this is just a salad, people. Get some greasy enchiladas and a bowl of deep-fried ice cream to finish off your meal.

When you’re eating off an edible dish the food suddenly becomes  more fun and there are drippy challenges to keep you entertained. Plus, after you’re done you can forget soaping up, scrubbing down, and setting your dishwasher to off-peak hours. Just remember: when you’re eating messy food off edible dishes … you’re digesting love.

AWESOME!

Photos from: here, here, here, here, and here

 

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#411 When your computer heals itself

SYSTEM ERROR.

Sometimes your buzzing box of lights and wires crashes a bad crash and completely stops working. So you reboot, unplug everything, plug everything back in, unplug everything again, plug everything back in again, and finally call in backups in the form of teenage kids or nerdy friends.

Unfortunately, after hammering keyboards and searching for clues for hours you eventually give up and go to bed where thoughts keep running through your worried head: Did I lose my assignment? What about my photos? Will I have to start my Bookmarks from scratch?

That’s why it’s great when the sun breaks through the blinds and you groggily shuffle over to the computer to find a big surprise.

It just suddenly works.

And no one knows why.

AWESOME!

Photos from: here and here

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#412 The air just before a thunderstorm

Warm wind whips and whistles down the streets sending cigarette butts, crumpled receipts, and dry leaves swirling in all directions.  Specks of dust glow in deep sunbeam tints as dark clouds shuffle in the sky. There’s a warm and wet sense of electric anticipation as lightning bolts flash silently in the distance, dogs bark in the background, and everyone races for cover.

You hear the nylon swish of umbrellas popping open, the scrape of plastic chairs dragging across patios, and the adrenaline buzzing before the first big boom.

Here come the jumbo drops.

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

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#413 Trying on your new clothes again as soon as you get home from the store

Stiff creases, unhemmed pants, and itchy tags can’t dent your mood.

Now it’s time to change real fast, clear the kitchen runway, and strut your stuff in a private fashion show for your friends, family, and dog.

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

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#414 Driving home from a long trip and getting all your radio stations back

Fade to fuzz.

It’s always a sad scene when you’re bumping down the highway and your old faves start fritzing out on the radio. Yes, you wince as songs start missing notes and DJs start garbling the weather…. before eventually just dissolving into the distance. Staring back through your rearview mirror a hot tear slowly drips down your cheek as you watch the orange sun set on your friends from the AM spectrum.

Now when you’re bumping back home it’s the opposite story. You’ve already tried and failed to latch onto new stations in new places. Scanning for new friends, skimming for old beats, you found annoying talk shows, scratchy music, and baseball games with all the wrong teams.

That’s why it’s great when you drive back into your radio station zone. Now clear voices, sharp drums, and familiar tunes float and fly down your antennae to welcome you back with a smile.

AWESOME!

Photos from: here and here

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#415 When you’re not the new guy anymore

The first day was scary.

When you opened the door everything was a giant swirling abyss of new teachers, new faces, new rules, and new places. So you tiptoed in smiling and shaking hands, learning passwords and policies, and staring around the busy cafeteria holding a red plastic tray trying to find someone to eat lunch with.

It wasn’t your fault but you were last to join the team, you were last getting in the game, you were last one signing in, and no one knew your name.

So you just put your head down and gave it a shot. You tried and tried and tried. You felt like you didn’t belong here so you worked a bit harder than the next guy. Maybe you organized a neighborhood garage sale, maybe you helped the bullpen in the clutch, maybe you bailed us all out of a big meeting, or maybe you threw a backyard party … with a special touch.

(Special touches may or may not include: big bowls of fizzy punch teetering on wobbly picnic tables, veggie hotdogs cooking to a crispy finish on their own grill, or baking anything rich and chocolaty for dessert.)

Soon you noticed you were starting to fit in and there were beers after the ballgame, lab partners in chemistry class, and new friends in the cafeteria. Somebody asked you for help one day, a nickname slowly evolved, and a dirty inside joke got everyone laughing for weeks.

One day someone even newer than you started up and while they squeezed nervously beside you at the lunch table it slowly hit you.

You aren’t the new guy anymore.

You fit in just fine.

AWESOME!

Hello Halifax, Nova Scotia! I will be at Word on the Street this Sunday. Hope to see you there!

Photos from: here, here, and here

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#416 When you try cooking something new and everyone likes it

I blew it last week.

A friend came over after work for that homemade meal I’d been promising her. Since my standard dinner lately has been a plate of nachos and a couple spoons of Nutella I figured it was high time to cook a proper meal.

It started well: I snagged a fancy pasta recipe off the innernet and raced through the grocery store after work loading up on ingredients I had no business buying — sun-dried tomatoes soaking in tubs of yellow oil, artichoke hearts squeezed into tiny square jars, and a big bottle of dry white cooking wine for simmering the sauce.

Then I came home and made a huge mess.

First, I didn’t have butter so I tossed the chopped onions into some lukewarm olive oil. Then after I realized I forgot to buy garlic I dumped the whole bottle of artichokes in to make up for it, figuring they were related somewhere way back in their vegetable family tree. Unfortunately, while trying to get the onions frying I dissolved those artichokes to mush. My grip on dinner was slipping so I tried saving the day with half a bottle of white wine before letting the whole thing simmer for ten minutes.

Smiling and satisfied, I washed my hands and scooped a bed of steamy pasta onto a couple dinner plates before pouring a generous amount of my sauce on each.

Well, guess what?

It was disgusting.

The onions were somehow raw and burnt, the artichokes were long gone, and the booze hadn’t simmered off so the entire thing tasted like hot wine. I got up to check the recipe and noticed I’d forgotten to put water in during the important final stage and somehow replaced it with triple the amount of wine.

It was a terrible meal and we choked it back through forced smiles and hot tears. A half bottle of Parmesan cheese and a loaf of bread were also called in to help.

It was a sad day but I really do hope that one day I get to experience the joy of cooking something new and having everyone like it.

Because I can see it now.

After flipping through cookbooks and strolling through aisles I get a sneaky twinkle in my eye as I race home ready to whip up a storm. Next I tie on a big apron, pull my hair back, and preheat that oven. After spinning like the Tasmanian Devil for a couple hours everyone finally comes over and samples my big meal.

“Ohhhh…” they say softly “Wow, this is delicious! What is this?”

“Oh … just some experimenting,” I smile back shyly, shrugging my shoulders and waving my hand. “It was so easy, honestly.”

But they won’t stop. None of them will.

“Can I have seconds?”

“Can I have thirds?”

“Can I get the recipe?”

“I love it so much!”

“Because it’s just so perfect!”

“And just so delicious!”

“And just so incredibly

AWESOME!

Hello Halifax, Nova Scotia! I will be at Word on the Street this Sunday. Hope to see you there!

Photos from: here, here, here, and here

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#417 The sound of water lapping against a dock

It sounds like the warm and windy start of summer. It sounds like the cool and quiet finish to fall.

AWESOME!

Hello Halifax, Nova Scotia! I will be at Word on the Street this Sunday. Hope to see you there!

Photo from: here

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#418 Carrying the ice cube tray you just filled up all the way back to the freezer without spilling

Say goodbye kitchen puddles, wet socks, and half-filled cubes. Say hello to

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

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#419 Correctly guessing if a door is push or pull

Doors can be trouble.

Strutting to the mall, strolling to the store, you spy those glassy doubles in the distance just waiting for you to size them up and give them a big push or pull.

Sure, it looks easy, but we all know it’s nothing but.

Nope, thanks to years of tense negotiations, backroom deals, and political infighting, the International Alliance for Door Design Consistency has reached a suffocating stalemate in its goal of coming up with one door we can all understand. So while those corporate bigwigs give each other evil eyes in smoky boardrooms We The People are left figuring it out on the front lines, door by door, day by day.

It sucks when you make the wrong move, too. Pull a push or push a pull and you’re suddenly five years old again. Forget the chemistry exam, gym class, or company meeting you’re about to attend — now you’re suddenly a toddler staring back at the waiting crowd with wide eyes, untied laces, and thick boogers snaking down your upper lip.

Yes, that’s why swinging open a confusing door on the first try is such a great high. You just saved yourself a horrible second of humiliation and are now coasting smoothly through life in the fast lane.

AWESOME!

Thank you sincerely for making The Book of Awesome a #1 bestseller for over 100 weeks! It is currently in its 21st paperback printing and thanks to your support two brand new books are in the works for 2015.

Photos from: here, here, and here

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